Date: December 30, 2012 & January 22, 2013
Scene 1 - Nori & Hotaru attempt to rid the Ramen House of an infestation of rats, only to find that the rats are acting oddly. They learn from their mistakes and work as a team, driving Nori and Hotaru out. Scene 2 - Nori & Hotaru return to the Ramen House with a plan to find the rat's nest. Hotaru tracks the rats through a tunnel out of the Ramen House and to the Vine Street Bridge. The tunnel is collapsed and Nori & Hotaru find strange blue pills in the rat's nest.
Ramen House followed by Vine Street Bridge
Nori would have called on Hotaru by sending her an Academy student with a message. He had a non-mission mission and needed the help. The message would have told her as much and told her to meet him here. It is first thing in the morning, there are no customers, and it is snowing. What in the world could Nori possibly have to do at the Ramen shop? Whatever it is though, the Yamanaka boy is standing there, in a heavy coating of rags to keep warm. As he blows into his hands to warm them, his breath is visible in the air.
Right now, she's wearing a jacket over her normal clothing. She peers at the boy as she approaches, "Nori!" She calls out as she walks toward him, "What is going on?" She hmms as s he approaches the boy, looking around for others before looking back at him.
Nori smirks as she approaches and gives him a wave, "Hotaru-san. Good morning. Sorry to get you out in this weather, but I figured you and I could use not only the ryo, but also the practice." He chuckles and opens the door to let her pass into the Ramen shop should she wish to get out of the cold, "Come in, come in," he urges. Whether or not she enters, he would start, "The owner of the Ramen shop asked me to do a mission without actually asking the office of the Hokage to do this. I guess he didn't want the people to know about his issue." He winks and then turns on the light. She would notice the rat infestation almost immediately. Nori on the other hand would add, "Apparently they have learned to only come out at night."
Looking at the boy, she peers inside and looks at the rats. She ohs and then giggles, "Look at them!" She points and then steps inside. She then looks at Nori with a hmm, "So, we are to get rid of the rats?" She hmms even as a few kikaichu almost immediately crawl out of her hair and over the top of the jacket. She then peers about, "I can do that." She giggles and nods.
Nori shakes his head, "No, we are to feed them all." He gives her a poo-flinging grin and laughs. "Yeah, we have to get rid of them all. We can do it the bloody way or the hard way though. If you just want to…" and he brings his thumb up to his neck and slashes his throat with it as if the rats could understand the words 'kill them'…"or we could relocate them." He shrugs, "I'll leave it up to you since you were called in as support. Relocateing this many might be a little difficult, but feasible."
"Not if they are all passed out." She grins as she holds up a kikaichu beetle and peers at him, "I could perhaps send my friends out to find them." She nods her head before looking over at one of the passing rats, "I think they could survive it and plus…" She icks, "…killing them all would leave quite a nasty mess."
The Yamanaka looks extremely relieved, "I guess I was right to call you. I have a hard time killing animals just because they are being pests. If that is what you wanted to do, then so be it, but I prefer capturing them all and relocating them." Nori pulls out a burlap sack from beneath his rags. Apparently he thought this would come in handy either way. "So, the plan then is to send out the kikaichu and sap just enough energy out of them to knock them out? I thought kikaichu only eat chakra. Do rats have chakra?" He shrugs and then looks down to the rats, "Rats, sorry for this. We are only going to move you to a better location." He bows to them. Odd fellow.
A hmm and she taps her chin, "Don't know!" She declares and then ponders, "I don't know if they do or not." She nods her head before she looks around at the rats, "At the least, the Kikaichu can find them for us and perhaps chase them out?" She hmms as s he looks at the Yamanaka, "Can't you get them with your shadow things?"
Nori lets out a laugh, "You don't even know what your bugs can feed on?" He then holds up his hands, "Eh, whatever, just don't let them confuse me for food again." He snickers before stating, "I'm not a Nara. I'm a Yamanaka. We don't do shadows, we take over your mind." Bending down, the ragged boy lays the burlap sack out for the rats to enter it. "I can grab only one of them. I mean, if we found they had a leader or alpha or something, maybe I could lead them away using it, but otherwise, my skill is useless. That is why I called for you." He smiles. "If you can start sucking the life force out of them with your kikaichu, I'll start gathering them up."
A grin and she walks around the room, letting a few kikaichu drop off here or fly off there. She then grins as she watches and peers around, hopping over the counter and looking down at the rats that are scurrying she soon has a veritable army of kikaichu scurrying about the kitchen as well. She grins as she peers over at him, snatching one up. It is still wiggling a little but it looks half conscious, "Got one!" S he grins and walks it over, grabbing up another as if they were just something to carry.
For every one that starts to drop, it looks like two more take its place. The Yamanaka does grab one in each hand too as she says she's got one. He has a dumb sort of happy look on his face. "The sack, place them in the sack." He runs over and places the rats in the bag, hopeing that they will stay knocked out for long enough to grab the rest of the rats.
Some of the rats, the smarter ones, begin realizing that they are under attack. They start fighting the kikaichu, but that is difficult to do (Nori should know). Learning from the others that are failing, some of the rats turn their sights upon the two shinobi whom are scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head. One bites Nori in the toe, causing him to scream. Another goes after Hotaru's heel.
"Ow!" She declares but as soon as it bites her, it'll find that hitting the hive with a stick is a poor idea as more of the kikaichu come crawling out to defend her almost immediately, going after it in threes. The poor thign doesn't stand a chance as they siphon off its energy and rush off after others. She giggles, "They are mean little things, aren't they?" She snatches one up by the tail, smiling at it.
Nori kicks the rat and it goes flying. "Not mean, just defending themselves and their home. If someone were to attack Kadomai or Konohagakure, I would probably do the same thing." Reaching down to examine his foot, Nori takes a look, "Why does it feel like we aren't making that big of a dent?" Certainly there are a bunch of rats unconcious around them, but there are as many out as there are running around. Nori sighs, "I'll probably need a mednin to check on that later." He straightens up and starts limping around. "Ow, it hurts." He grrs to himself and continues picking up the asleep rats. The sack is filling up quickly.
The rest of the rats seem smarter than usual because they noted how one rat failed because of a swarm of bugs. The rats start grouping together under the tables. They are chirping wearily. Some have kikaichu on them draining their reserves, others are fresh…but it looks like they are caged and know it. Nori erks, "Eh…Hotaru-san…it looks like they are ready to attack, in unison." He's just being a wuss…right?
A hmm and she looks at the group before pondering and then tilting her head, "You might be right." She nods her head before pondering a little and then watching her kikaichu moving around the area, heading toward the table, "Umm, do rats usually do this?" She hmms and backs up near to Nori even as she attempts to surround the larger groups with kikaichu. She ponders, "My friends might not do so well against so big a group."
Nori jumps onto a table, grunting as his toe throbs. "I don't think they do. Maybe they're like, super intelligent from eating ramen?" He calls out to the swarm of rats, "Leave this place please! We don't want to hurt you!" He's looking a little scared over some rats. "I'm wondering if we should maybe retreat and come back with a better plan?" He looks over at Hotaru with a questioning glance. "We can at least take the ones that are in the sack out for now?"
Looking at the sack, she hmms and nods, "That might be a good idea…I don't want to have to start killing them in order to get them to do as we say." She nods her head, "And I'm not so good with my friends yet to get this done." She frowns, "And I dont' want them hurt either." She then hops off th e table and rushes toward the door, kikaichu following after them.
Nori hops off the table, grabs the burlap sack and makes for the door too, following Hotaru. It sounds like the rats close the door behind them and snicker, but that is probably just the winter winds playing tricks on Nori's ears. The boy steals himself against the night and states to Hotaru, "We'll have to plan what to do next, gather the materials, and then come back. Sorry I didn't really think about this, but I didn't think they would be so well…eh, organized. We should probably find out why they are so smart too."
Nori and Hotaru had been run out of the Ramen House previously. The rats inside that infested the shop appeared to gather in numbers and work together. They looked like they were exhibiting signs of intelligence that wasn't normal. Luckily for the Ramen House, the rats only came out at night once the shop was closed. Every morning though, the shop had to clean up a mess, so they were still eager for the job to get done. Nori and Hotaru had promised to come back once they were a little more prepared, and come back they have.
Nori is waiting for Hotaru once again by the door. It is early morning, just before the Ramen House opens. The owner is inside cleaning up the mess that the rats leave.
Running to the spot, she comes up with her arms back, grinning, "Nori!" She declares and hops to a stop, flipping forward and landing before him, "I am back!" She declares with a nod and a salute, "And I got a few new tricks up my sleeve for our furry friends." She winks.
Nori waves as Hotaru comes running up. "Hotaru-san!" He laughs at her acrobatics and says, "Excellent. I wish I could say the same, but I really can't. I'm minorly better with some things, but I've really just been practicing the basics over and over." He frowns a bit and then looks inside, "So, what's the plan? I think the owner wants us to clear out the nest, but we may need to find it first. Have any ideas how we might do that?"
A smile as she raises up her hand and lets a kikaichu crawl out on to it, "That's one of my new tricks." She nods her head with a nod, "My friends can find things much more easily and point them out to me." She nods, "I can send them off to scout the area and they will lead us to where we need to go."
Nori grins at the idea, "Your kikaichu can find them? Hmm, I think I've heard about you Aburame being the tracker types." Nori then holds the door open, "If you don't mind me asking, since you'd be giving away trade secrets and all, how exactly do the kikaichu find things? I mean, how do you even communicate with them?" He grins at the thought of talking to bugs. Nori steps into the Ramen House and nods to the owner, "Sorry we took so long, but we're back. My friend is going to send out some of her kikaichu, but we promise they won't stick around after we leave. You don't need another infestation right?" The man nods and continues to sweep. He says, "We open in an hour, so hurry please."
As they walk in, she shrugs, "I don't know." She smiles as sh e holds up the particular bug in question, "I just do. They just know and they just listen." She smiles, "It is what it is really." She then tosses the bug up and it takes flight, flying off toward a wall when suddenly it seems like three or four at a time just start flying off of her in all directions, taking flight for whatever crack or crevice they can find as they flutter about. She smiles at Nori, "How do you communicate with your brain to tell it to go to someone else's?"
Nori raises an eyebrow and just takes it to mean that Hotaru doesn't want to tell him how they do it. He respects her privacy and doesn't press with more questions. "I don't communicate with my brain…and eh, it is more my mind that does the work. My brain, I hope, stays in my skull. My conciousness is what travels. I guess you can say it is like using any other muscle really. Some people can push their muscles to run farther and faster, well, we can push our mind to do the same." He shrugs.
The kikaichu travel and eventually find a tunnel that leads under the Ramen House and outside to the South.
"And I can push my friends." She smiles and then turns her head, pointing to the south, "They aren't in the Ramen house at all." She nods her head, "They are coming in from somewhere else." She nods and smiles brightly as she points, "We can not only cut them off from easily entering again, we can find them." Several of the kikaichu return as she starts toward the exit, "We are done here, for now." She nods with a smile and waves at the owner, "We'll be back once we've cleaned up the nest!"
The owner seems happy with the idea that they aren't nesting under the shop, but rather that they are coming in instead. "We're not running away, we'll fix it, I swear." He chuckles and then heads on out after her. "So, how exactly are we going to cut the rats off then? Can we like, collapse their tunnel? Was the tunnel there before or did they create it? If they created it, then how do we make sure they don't tunnel in again?" That's Nori for you, full of questions.
The kikaichu would lead them towards the Vine Street Bridge, or under it to be exact. Not the best spot for a nest if the river were to flood, but it hasn't in a while, so the rats are probably using it as a water source.
As they approach the bridge, Hotaru slows. She stares at it and then points, "They are under there, probably." She nods, and swallows, "Near the…uh…river." She nods again and then looks back at him, "We should just collapse the tunnel. All the way from here to there. My kikaichu can likely do that with soem work or we can do it from above." She nods and then looks toward the bridge and then toward the space beneath it, "We could…I mean, we could leave them in peace then…maybe." Her entire body shudders as they come near to the bridge, and t he path that will lead them under it.
Nori blinks, "Your kikaichu could collapse the tunnel? They're that strong?" He hmms at that thought, "Well, that would probably do it. I'm not sure. It is still bugging me why the rats seemed to be communicating and learning from eachother." He thinks about it for a second and then states, "Is there some way to gain information from your kikaichu? Anything else they see or smell or feel or anything?" The Yamanaka nods. He does notice that she shudders and he asks, "Everything okay?"
"With enough time, little bites here and little licks there can collapse a tunnel that small that is only held up by dirt int he end." She hten looks at the bridge and then at Nori, "Umm, everything is fine." She nods her head a little as she moves a little closer to the bridge, "Let me…send my friends furhter forward." She nods her head as s he looks at the ground and then at the kikaichu moving before her. She peers at them closely and then at Nori before saying, "We umm, shouldn't have to go under the bridge, s hould we?"
Nori thinks about the bugs nibbling away at the dirt and says, "Wouldn't that collapse the tunnel on them though?" He doesn't like the idea of wasting any of her bugs for no reason. The boy then studies Hotaru for a bit before asking, "Hotaru-san…are you afraid of the river?" It is perhaps a bit rude, but he's never met someone afraid of water before. He then states, "No, eh, /we/ shouldn't have to go under the bridge…but I can if needed." He is trying to be nice now.
A frown at him and she looks carefully at the water, "I'm not…" She states with a shakily resolute tone as she stares at it before she looks down, "We should just, umm, yeah…" She looks at him "You check it out and I'll umm, send my friends as needed." She nods her head, "I just…we shouldn't risk more of my friends than need be." She nods.
Confirmation is acheived and noted. Nori smiles, "Oh, Hotaru-san…no problem then. Let me go look." He starts walking towards the bridge and calls back, "Just don't have your kikaichu collapse the bridge on top of me. They rats will hopefully be sleeping for the most part." He hmms and then asks, "Eh, have any more kikaichu in case I drop the tunnel on me by accident? It might be good for you to know where my body is." He hmms at that thought for just a second before shaking his head, "Nevermind, even if that happens, you'll have a rough idea where I am anyway." He chuckles dryly and then heads down to the bridge's belly. Crawling underneath, he disappears, leaving Hotaru by herself.
Slipping up a bit closer, so she can just see over the edge, she peers and sends several kikaichu toward the edge, though a veritable swarm can be seen crawling all over her for those that look. She looks apprehensive at best as she stares at the bridge and the spot where Nori went over. She takes a deep breath and then slowly releases it, "Be careful."
Nori is gone. There must have been another entrance to the tunnels under the bridge. It is hard to tell if Hotaru's cautionary note is heard or not even. Minutes slip by, and then Nori comes out, completely covered in dirt. He hmms as he emerges and states, "There are a /lot/ of rats. I had to mind-body-switch a few to get them to go back to sleep…but not too many luckily. I did wake up with a face-full of poo a few times though." He grunts and wipes at his face again. "Still, the nest is definitely there. It was odd though, I found some of these." He holds up a hand-full of blue pills. "I wonder what they are? Oh, and go ahead and have your kikaichu collapse the tunnels. Make them be careful though please."
A nod and she hmms, "Give me a moment." She then sends what appears to be a swarm of kikaichu from her person and over the edge. They disappear into the tunnel and she turns, starting to walk back toward the ramen shop, peering at the pills, "I wonder if maybe Hiroshi or Naru would know what those are for?" She hmms, "I think at the very least we should let a chuunin know about those." She continues walking, seeming more at ease as they leave the water behind.
The Yamanaka considers that for a moment, "I could certainly ask Naru-sama. I am on her team. Hiroshi-sama has trained me a little too. We should bring it to them together and see what they think." The boy notes the release of tension and can't help but smile. Was it a personal fear of water, or the kikaichu's fear of it…he didn't know. "So, eh, how do we know when the tunnels are collapsed? And, eh, you are okay if a few of the Kikaichu don't come back from this?"
Eremi has +finger'd you!
"The older ones are the ones that are pulling up the rear." She frowns and looks at him, "Kikaichu aren't immortal." She nods, "They dont' live as long as the rest of us." She nods, "I just try to make sure that they leave as long and as fulfilling lives as they can while they are around." She nods again, "It's ok if some of hte older ones die like this." She nods, "They'd prefer it to simply dying off while we relax."
Nori considers that for a long moment and then states, "You are basically a hidden village of kikaichu shinobi yourself then. We shinobi aren't expected to live until the point we retire. I think that I too would be happy dieing during a mission instead of just sitting there." He grunts though after saying that, as if it leaves a bad taste in his mouth. "So how long does the averag Kikaichu live then?"
At that point, Hotaru gains the deepest of frowns and shifts some, looking uncomfortable, "Even the longest lived ones might only live for half a day." She sighs as she looks at one of them on her hand, peering at it. She bites her lip, "They aren't very long lived creatures." She nods, "It's why I treat them all with respect." She looks at Nori, "They each live their short lives with no other thought in mind than to help and protect me."
Nori considers that. They don't live long at all, yet they have purpose, "Purpose is a strong motivating factor. Many of us would love to be able to say we had such a strong driving focus." He smirks and then states, "I mean, the purpose itself, not protecting you." Nori then looks back, "So, eh, yeah, is the tunnel collapsed?"
A nod as she looks at Nori, "It is." She looks down at her kikaichu, staring at the one on her hand before it disappears back up her arm. She peers at Nori with a smile, "They do have purpose." She then hmms, "Lets go tell the owner the job is done, it might as well be." She nods again.